LE SSING'S I S
Doing Good Lessing’s Hospitality Group always strives to “Do Good.” Whether it’s preserving the environment or giving back to the local community, Lessing’s is committed to taking care of families, friends, and the place we all call home - our planet.
In honor of Earth Day in April, the sixth generation, family-owned and operated food service and hospitality business launched a “Do Good” initiative in partnership with Island Harvest Food Bank (www.islandharvest.org), the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island. Lessing’s partnership with Island Harvest began two years ago during the month of December with the company’s "Spread the Cheer" campaign, wherein Lessing’s Hospitality Group donated 10% of all sales from ‘Local Cheer’, the group’s private label seasonal brew, brewed by Blue Point Brewing Co., directly to Island Harvest Food Bank. Wanting to hand deliver the check from funds raised, the team visited the Island Harvest facilities where they learned the extensive reach Island Harvest has, and how much they do for the Long Island community. The Lessing’s team was immediately inspired by their efforts upon learning how valuable Island Harvest services are for those struggling with hunger and food insecurity. As a result, Lessing’s committed to giving back to Island Harvest Food Bank with the launch of the "Do Good" initiative on April 9th. The "Do Good" initiative kicked-off with a special PlantA-Garden event at Island Harvest Food Bank’s 1.8-acre “Giving Garden” in Brentwood. The Lessing’s team spent the afternoon in the fields, tilling the soil, and planting onions, potatoes, swiss chard, rutabagas and radishes for this year’s crop which will provide healthy, fresh produce to help support the 300,000 Long Islanders struggling with hunger and food insecurity. April 9th also marked the launch of Lessing’s social media campaign seeking donations to Island Harvest Food Bank. Supporters were encouraged to donate to Island Harvest Food Bank through the social media fundraiser “Lessing’s in Partnership with Island Harvest Food Bank” found on the Lessing’s Hospitality Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Lessingshospitality). The campaign culminated on Earth Day, April 22nd, when, for up to $5,000, Lessing’s Hospitality Group matched 100% of the donations made on Earth Day to Island Harvest Food Bank. “We’re grateful for Lessing’s Hospitality Group’s caring and generosity and pitching in at our Giving Garden in Brentwood,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “Valued partnerships, like the one we enjoy with Lessing’s, is helping us address the chronic problem of hunger and food insecurity in our communities by providing those in need with fresh, nutritious,
14 | THE LIST MAGAZINE
locally grown produce.” Lessing’s “Do Good” commitment continues throughout the year with the company’s mission to reduce plastic consumption and help keep the oceans and lands clean. In 2018, the group joined the international movement, #SkipTheStraw, and went “strawless” at all ten of the group’s restaurants. The restaurants now offer 100% renewable and compostable straws and biodegradable beverage stirrers, and are only served upon request by guests. Coinciding with the #SkipTheStraw Campaign, all restaurants offer a specialty cocktail made with Naked Turtle Rum, a brand committed to saving sea turtles. As well, the restaurants have converted all takeout containers to 100% renewable and bio-degradable Greenware. The group’s “Do Good” vow to protect the environment extends to the local beaches as well with their annual “Save the Beaches” beach cleanup, where Lessing’s team members, family, friends and community members clean up trash every September at Gilgo Beach in Babylon. The team collected over 400 pounds of garbage at the “Save the Beaches” event in 2018. Finally, Lessing’s participates in the nationwide campaign, “The Crayon Initiative” (thecrayoninitiative.org), collecting and recycling used
"To Move Forward, You Have to Give Back” - OPRAH WINFREY
and unwanted crayons, reducing the 60 million crayons discarded each year to help preserve the environment and enrich the lives of hospitalized children through art and imagination. “We are grateful to live on Long Island and call it our home. Whether it be supporting a local cause close to our hearts or to our employees, cleaning the beaches, or helping those in need, it is what gives us a purpose,” declares Mark Lessing, Vice President, Lessing's Hospitality Group. “They say it takes a village, and as we expand across the Northeast and Florida, many of our restaurants are located in these very same villages,” said Lessing’s marketing director, Jennifer Cantin. “As a company, Lessing’s Hospitality Group has committed to doing our part to effect change, and do good. We believe if we all take steps, small or big, together we can make monumental changes.”